January 17th, 2008

ozarque figure

Linguistics; political language; meanderings...

I've wasted a horrifying amount of time this morning googling unsuccessfully.

I've been paying close attention to the comments from many of you readers [in the context of our discussion of Clinton's "emotional moment" in New Hampshire] saying, roughly, that something voters greatly admire in political candidates is the ability to appear calm and self-controlled, the ability to keep from losing their tempers, the ability to demonstrate grace under pressure, and so on. Even if the calm and self-control and grace aren't genuine. This sort of faking, you've been assuring me, is admirable; the other sort of faking -- faked tears, for example -- is not.

But when I watched the tv news anchors and the pundits yesterday afternoon, I saw/heard/felt them complaining bitterly that the recent Clinton/Obama/Edwards "debate" had been way too polite, way too boring, that what the candidates should have done was really "go after one another" and fight. All this sitting decorously around a table having genteel discussions, the anchors/pundits said, was a total waste of time ... it was like a dinner party, they said, instead of being like a boxing match, the way it should have been. They appeared to me to be particularly disconsolate about the fact that Clinton/Obama/Edwards didn't get into some kind of nasty verbal mudwrestling about race.

So I spent almost two hours this morning googling, trying to find stories online I could send you to to prove that I hadn't made all this up. And at the end of all that wasted time -- during which Googling for January 2008 transcripts of the shows I'd watched got me transcripts from 2004 and 2001 -- I found myself wondering if in fact I did make it all up.

Maybe I should quit drawing and doing needlework while I'm watching television, and give the screen my undivided attention?

This would be very difficult for me to do, since the only way I justify to myself the time I spend watching tv is that I'm always doing something productive at the same time. But suppose the end result is that I create not only drawings and needlework but hallucinated tv programming as well; maybe that's a bit more productive than is seemly.


"When I grow too old to blog,
I'll have you to remember...."

Nonfiction online: "How Verbal Self-Defense Works" at http://people.howstuffworks.com/vsd.htm ; "Why Are Old Women Older Than Old Men And How Can We Fix That?" at http://www.seniorwomen.com/articles/articlesElginOld.html ; Religious Language Newsletter archive at http://www.forlovingkindness.org . Fiction online: "We Have Always Spoken Panglish" at http://www.sfwa.org/members/elgin/Story-Panglish.html ; "What The EPA Don't Know Won't Hurt Them" at http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/epa.htm ; "Weather Bulletin" at http://www.sfwa.org/members/elgin/Weather.html ; "A Quorum Of Grandmothers" at http://www.sfwa.org/members/elgin/QuorumOfGrandmothers.html ; The Communipaths at http://www.jackiepowers.com/SuzetteHadenElgin/TheCommunipaths.html . More stuff at http://www.sfwa.org/members/elgin/SiteMap.html ; LiveJournal blog index at http://www.livejournal.com/tools/memories.bml?user=ozarque .